20 of the Gravesend Group arrived for the trip to Oare Marshes on a beautiful sunny, if rather windy, day. We were amazed how the muddy ground had dried up so quickly, but there had been no rain for the last two weeks. Fortunately we all managed to park with no problem, but later discovered that the car park was due to be closed the next day for ‘essential repairs’! A cettis warbler was singing loudly from the tree near the car park.
We started at the sea wall and walked towards the hide, watching redshank, curlew, oystercatcher, brent geese, avocet and several seals. Scanning across the reed bed we saw reed bunting and linnet, and some of us were lucky to catch a glimpse of some bearded tits which could be heard ‘pinging’ from the reeds. On the islands were many black tailed godwit, ruff and redshank.
We stopped a the next hide from where were several pairs of beautiful pintail along with teal, wigeon, shovelar and some snipe were also spotted on the islands.
We did cross over to the other side of the road hoping for a glimpse of the little owl which had been seen there in previous years, but had no luck. A kestrel helped to make up for that.
After lunch those of us who were left walked the other way along the sea wall and were watching marsh harriers and buzzards across the Swale towards Harty Ferry. Paul and Malcolm, who had stopped for a rest, had seen a pair of stonechat.
We had a brilliant day, and saw/heard a total of (give or take) 45 species of birds and lots of butterflies, which were mostly flying too fast to be identified! Just a shame about the lack of toilet facilities at Oare.
Many thanks to all who joined us.
Sue and Ian